Stone Walls

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Stone walls are an ubiquitous feature of the New England landscape


The stone wall behind the Portsmouth Historical Society building marks the original boundary of the Christian Union Church lot that was purchased by the congregation in 1824.

Stacked or dry stone walls throughout New England harken back to the regions’ rich agricultural heritage

Farmers would build these stone walls to mark the boundaries of their fields. Farmers found the rocks while tilling the soil for planting. No mortar or binding agent was used to hold the stones in place.

The makeup of the stone walls on Aquidneck Island are noticeably different from those in communities off-island. The fieldstones off-island are rounder while the stones on Aquidneck Island are much flatter.

Examples of the types of fieldstones that make up these historic markers include slate, quartzite, puddingstone and granite. The slate found on the island can easily be split into slabs and are an excellent type of rock to build these stone walls.

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